In news no one will find shocking Ashley Graham has said something problematic.
In a recent interview with People.com she is quoted as saying “There are some days I feel fat.”
Let me stop you there.
This kind of language is problematic for a number of reason, most notably that she’s framing this is a negative way. Framing fatness to equate to something negative is damaging and enforcing the narrative that fatness is bad. For someone who has happily ridden on the body positivity train to get where she is now this is NOT a body positive attitude. Plenty of people have been more than happy to sniff at me on Twitter: “but every body is a good body!” YES EXACTLY SO WHY IS SHE ASSOCIATING FATNESS WITH SOMETHING BAD THEN?
Her sickly platitudes about loving yourself as you are and then saying things like this merely reinforces my opinion that she isn’t body positive, or rather she perfectly represents the mess that body positivity has become now.
Throwing fat bodies under the bus is a huge problem in this movement, and a reason why I no longer associate with it.
So many people are quick to jump to her defence talking about how she’s helped them. That’s great, I’m glad you’re on your way to hopefully having a more loving and peaceful relationship with your body. But consider the fact that she’s only benefiting you. She’s not helping me, she’s not helping fat people who are the most marginalised by body policing. Calling Ashley Graham out for this is not for a second suggesting that thin people shouldn’t benefit from the BP movement, these issues affect all body types. But what it is doing is holding people accountable for continue to marginalise certain body types by associating them with negatively.
Put this way, Ashley may ‘sometimes’ feel fat; I AM fat. Every day. I can’t escape it, I can’t have fat days and none-fat days, and with that I can’t escape the abuse and oppression my body type suffers.
Not all of us wake up and hate our fat bodies. Stop using fatness as shorthand for your personal shortcomings.
New vlog! Today I’m talking about medical fatphobia.
Plus size alternative wear is a unicorn. We know it exists, we just have to close our eyes and wish really hard.
A large part of my wardrobe over the years has been finding pieces from mainstream stores and styling them to fit my personal aesthetic because just buying them from dedicated alternative stores isn’t an option.
No matter what my style has been over the years I’ve always had a soft spot for decadent goth; y’ know, the huge sleeves, flowing skirts, the drama. I wore this medieval gown for my 6th form ball for gods sake. How extra.
This is a bit late to the table; the tunic was actually gift from my partner for Christmas and to be honest it probably would have been sensible to wear it then. The material is heavy but comfortable with a gorgeous lace cut out detail. I love the high neckline; something as a busty fat person I’ve avoided for years because apparently a fashion “rule” is that I can’t wear them for fear of looking..fatter? Ha. Who the fuck knows anymore.
I put this with an old New Look Inspire maxi skirt and lots of big rings and a necklace as a head piece. I will say this, it’s inspired me to look into circlets as something to introduce into my outfits.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised with Simply Be time and time again. I’ve found pieces on there that I’ve been searching for and not found anywhere else.
On the website the model wears this with and without trousers. I don’t know if I would wear this without something on my bottom half because it sits much higher on me because of my big belly. But I would love to style it with a mini skirt to give it a bit of a 70’s vibe, which I adore. But with the maxi skirt it has a gorgeous Gothic feel. When I saw this top I pictured myself wearing this, strolling through a gloomy wood and the incredibly talented Grace made that a reality for me.
You can find the tunic over at Simply Be here.
Photography by the ever incredible Grace Johnston.
I had intended on writing out some thoughts about the recent Lush debacle but right now I’m currently bed bound with a bad back and I’m more interested in getting on with playing Skyrim and weathering the stomach ache the concoction of painkillers is giving me. Amanda Apparel recently wrote one out that you should totally check out. Though I may write something in time.
But I did want to talk a little about the issue as a whole.
Brands and advertising have been using our bodies and tapping into (or crushing) our self-esteem to sell products since the dawn of time. How else can they shift their wares if not to assure us there is a void within us that these products can fill, some fault it can repair?
But why should we care?
When brands start getting involved in the science, and unavoidable politics, of health it opens the gates for the public to feel validated in policing fat bodies, more so than they already do.
Fat people are already subject to a lot of scrutiny. When strangers make comments, like when Tess Holiday recently spoke about how her Uber driver was scrutinising her health and size, to fat people having things taken out of their baskets at supermarkets, waiting staff deliberately changing orders of fries to broccoli. Not to mention the unfathomable amount of hatred they receive online for simply existing.
When brands start to talk about health in relation to size it sets a dangerous precedent. Most notably, as Lush’s recent IG fuck up illustrates, the information they share is almost always inaccurate if not outright false. There’s never any source to the figures. The most common thing I saw in the comments (and I thoroughly suggest you don’t read them) is that Lush were simply “stating the facts” when they were, in fact, not.
It also shows how little humanity is afforded to fat people. Shock statements, with no consideration for how true they may be, simply serve to place the ‘blame’ at the feet of fat people, and I say ‘blame’ because really what do fat people have to feel guilty for?
I was almost tempted to write about all the fat myths that have been dispelled but honestly, right now, that’s a level of emotional labour I’m simply not prepared to give to people who don’t care. I cared enough to seek this information out for myself, so I could be educated and informed.
They don’t care that fatness doesn’t CAUSE these diseases, and that something increasing your risk of an illness doesn’t mean you’re the only one who’s likely to suffer it. They don’t care that the BMI scale is proven to be inaccurate and false. It’s seemingly escaped their notice that all the diseases that fatness is apparently responsible for are diseases that are also suffered by thin people.
Take the host and fitness trainer on ‘Biggest Loser, Bob Harper almost dying from a heart attack. No one’s examining that. No one’s looking at how that changes things. No one’s talking about how yo-yo diet culture is vastly more responsible for long term illness, mental health issues, and diseases.
It doesn’t fit the narrative that’s been cultivated for decades. The narrative that brands push, that thinness is the beauty ideal and fatness is undesirable. These hordes of commenters do not care about our health. It’s never about health because if they did care they’d do their own research.
When brands engage in this political commentary they validate the hatred already levelled at fat people. They are just another thing that is against us. They don’t care about our health and they never will.
I like clothes as much as the next person and a good old tropical print gets me pretty giddy but when I saw this coat I remember letting out an audible gasp and was sending a link to my partner as fast as my fat, sausage fingers would let me. It was coming up to Christmas and we were both compiling our lists to give each other and this was sitting at the top. I must have made my point pretty hard because, would you believe it, Father Christmas came through for me.
PlusEquals are a pretty new indie brand. I believe they started out upcycling vintage stuff but recently released a collection that got me pretty excited. They are what is missing for me as a fat, alternative babe. There’s serious colours, sequins, bold prints, clashing, and just out-there stuff. Also their social media is so right on and I love their dedication to diversity and their politics seem to align with mine, which is refreshing. Plus their sizing goes up to a 32. Not to mention there is a made to measure option to if your size isn’t readily available.
In alternative clothing this is absolutely unheard of! I’m so excited this brand exists!
AHHHHHH LOOK AT IT.
The photos (as amazing as they are, thank you Lauren you BABE) really don’t do it justice. It’s kinda hard to do this many sequins justice. It’s got more green in it than the photos suggest.
I wore this to LondonEdge with a simple black t-shirt dress, leggings, and my Asos black creepers. I wanted something comfortable to wear as it tends to be a long day, but also something I could wear for the after party.
I finished it off with my new, amazing cactus earrings from No Basic Bombshell. I have three pairs of their earrings now. I love them, They social media is so rad and they seem like right on folks. I’m super glad I found this brand too.
I feel like I could have tripled PlusEquals revenue because people were asking me none stop about this coat. People were stopping me and asking to try it on or just stroke the sequins. I felt like a bit of a celebrity, not gonna lie.
Considering how heavy the coat is I felt comfortable all day and was surprisingly easy to wear, considering I wouldn’t look out of place at Liberace pool party. I will say though the sleeves aren’t lined and so they can be a little scratchy at times. It’s not something that makes it completely unwearable but it’s just something to be aware of, particularly if you’re a person who is sensitive to material.
But all is forgiven for me because I get to be a disco wizard.
Photography by Lauren French www.latomique.com
I’m back! After a couple of weeks of being locked out of my WordPress due to an update issue a couple of dear friends have helped to get me back in. Aside from having to deal with a hacked blog post, I’m back.
With that in mind I do have a couple of posts lined up that I’ve had ready following on from LondonEdge but I’ve not had a chance to since having my issues. But I wanted to write this out first as it’s kinda current and I just wanted to share my thoughts on the matter.
You may be aware the recently Nike brought out a plus size range, enlisting bloggers Danielle Vanier and Grace Victory to model. Look at these amazing babes:
The response to Nike’s plus size range was completely predictable.
As with anything fat people do it’s all for the glory of promoting obesity, apparently, and that is not limited to wearing and using athletic clothing.
Thin people want fat people to stop being fat because “health!11!1” but make it difficult, if not impossible, to access the means to engage in things like exercise. When they aren’t attacking fat people for using a bike , they humiliate people at the gym like that piece of shit body builder Diana Andrews and model Dani Mathers, or when exercising in general. They don’t care about the process, they just want the end result.
See, I’ll let you in on a little secret. Thin people don’t actually care about our health. They don’t like fatness because we’ve all been conditioned to hate it but need to put a palatable face on their hatred that doesn’t make them look like a bad person, because how can a person who’s advocating for your well-being be a bad person?!
There’s also lots of gross assumptions that this clothing range should be embraced because it enables fat people to stop being fat (an actual thing I saw on Twitter). It should be embraced because fat people should have the same choice and opportunities as thin people.
Not all fat people exercise to lose weight.
Exercise should be a decision you make based on what is good for you and your well being and not because you have to meet some fucked up standard thin people think you should be trying to reach.
“At least they’re trying!” GAG.
Exercise can be a source of pleasure, strength, a means of socialising, and well-being. When I was trying to learn roller derby (and failing miserably) I felt amazing. I loved it. It made me feel good, I made friends in a strange new town, and having a hobby was fun.
It just highlights that no matter what you do as a fat person it’s never going to be good enough so do what pleases you and fuck those miserable arseholes.
Phew! Ok, so that was a busy couple of weeks. I’ve finally got some time to myself to sit down and collate this shit. So last weekend saw LondonEdge roll in for 2017. I made a cheeky little vlog of the day if you’ve got 5 minutes to check it out!
I’m still not super confident using videos yet so I didn’t get a lot of the footage I wanted. Not to mention the battery running out so I grabbed some snaps on my phone and I think I’ll do a separate post on some brands I liked in particular.
After everything was wrapped up for the day we headed over the road to Byron burger to grab something to eat before making our way to the opening party.
I wish we could have stayed longer but tube times meant we were bailing a little earlier. But we still managed to pack in a couple of burlesque routines from the INCREDIBLE Talulah Blue, a belly achingly funny routine from the fabulous compere Virgin Xtravaganzah, free drinks, and lots of dancing. The London Edge team pull it off every time and I’m so grateful that I get to experience it.
I made my first ever vlog and to be honest I’m kinda shitting it because…I don’t know?
This was certainly a learning process. The sound isn’t great so you might want to listen with headphones if you do plan on checking it out. I’ll also probably need to take some time to decide if I’ll make more and the aesthetics but I guess that’s like anything it comes with time. For now I just hope the content is interesting. I’d love your feedback!